Tobold's Blog
Thursday, March 19, 2009
 
Shadow run

Excuse the reference to an obscure cyberpunk pen&paper RPG, this post is about a Naxxramas heroic run I did last night with my priest in shadow spec. Overall the run was very successful, we cleared 3 wings in 3 hours, and got a lot of epics. In spite of several people who thought we weren't "hardcore enough" having left the guild recently, we are doing surprisingly well with a more relaxed attitude; one could even say better than before. We manage to accomodate people who come home late from work, or others who have to leave early, by swapping people in and out with very little fuzz. And we have people politely passing on loot that is a bigger upgrade for somebody else. We're probably not running the most efficient raids, but we're running very pleasant raids, which is a different value.

So with the guild not being overly strict, and us having tons of healers anyway, it was no problem for me to do one raid as shadow priest. I had pushed up my hit rating a bit more with tips from my readers, and got my miss rate down to 1.5%. At the end of the raid Recount showed me as having done 3k dps overall, and being 6th in total damage dealt, nearly 11 million points of damage. Considering that I was still mostly wearing healing gear, I was quite happy with that performance.

I mentioned before that in holy spec my priest rarely had any mana problems. That turned into a complete parody with the more powerful mana regeneration of the shadow build. For example at Loatheb I did nothing but stand still and blast damage spells as fast as I could at the boss for a full 6 minutes, and at the end of the combat I was still at full mana. If I had taped over my mana bar on the screen to make it completely invisible to me, it wouldn't have made a difference, I simply didn't need to watch mana in that raid. I consider that to be bad game design, because you are taking away a tactical choice between more or less mana efficient spells from the players. And I'm afraid the mana nerf in patch 3.1 will not be sufficient to fix that, if it only affects out-of-combat mana regeneration.

This shadow run was a test for the upcoming dual spec in patch 3.1. I'm feeling comfortable doing a shadow build as my second spec now, and switching to it whenever more dps is required, without being a burden to the raid. But I did realize that while dual spec offers the possibility to have two sets of talents and corresponding sets of glyphs, I do not currently own two sets of gear. My solution to just change gems isn't viable for dual spec, unless I want to spend a fortune on gems for every switch. But then I might not really need to. While stats like hit rating might be "most efficient" for shadow priests, they are not absolutely necessary. And for holy priests hit rating is completely useless. So if I concentrate on different stats, like spellpower, int, and crit, I will get stats which are excellent for the holy priest, but still good enough for the shadow build without needing a second set of gear. Yes, having a second set of hit rating gear would be nice, but any piece I take for that set is missing for somebody else in the guild who might need it full time.

So I'm declaring the shadow experiment as over, and will switch back to holy tonight. I'll switch out my hit rating gems and replace them with gems that are useful for both talent builds, so I'm prepared for dual spec when it comes. And I guess I can count myself lucky that as priest I'll be able to do two specs with one set of gear. A lot of other classes, for example my warrior, will definitely need two completely different sets of gear for switching from one role to another.
Comments:
At least buy emblem hit gear (if any exist). Next patch comes with a "armor rack" that let's you have two sets of gear. It completely switches between them, so even having mostly bought blues/purples with hit will allow for more dps than being in holy gear with no hit.

Shadow is great in that your goal is to hit 11% hit, since the other 6% is made up by talents, and you share 3% with your raid. But if you weren't geared for hit, you're dps would be lower than 3k avereged for the run, and it would be lower than 6th place on the charts.

Would it still be useful for when you have enough healers and need more dps? Yes. But why not invest in it a bit if that's the case?
 
Shadowrun is far from obscure. The fact I ran here immediately when I read the title, says a lot.
Ah well, thanks for fooling me...

Cheers
 
They cannot make mana relevant for damage dealer, otherwise the classes that don't depend on an exhausting resource would have an advantage and would dominate. If you give mana classes an advantage as long as they have mana, they would probably dominate PvP.

They only change it for healer because all 4 healer use mana and therefore healer mana consumption doesn't have to be balanced against energy, rage or runic power.
 
Were I in your shoes, I'd look at my least DPS-suitable pieces and see if there are easy worthwhile replacements for them. Here's a post I wrote that listed easy sources for +hit gear. It's from a Druid perspective so there's some leather on there, but I included cloth gear too.

Contra what Kring writes, as I understand it the intent is to make mana relevant for DPS as well as healers. It sounds though like you're unlikely to see problems in 3.1. I'd be curious to know where all your mana is coming from. If it's all from self-generated Replenishment plus MP5 on your gear, it might be an argument to switch out some of your MP5 in favor of spellpower or other stats.
 
I have nearly no direct MP5 gear, and no MP5 gems at all. I do have a lot of gear and gems and enchants with +spirit, but that not only affects mana regeneration, but also spellpower. But I think I'll do a bit less spirit, and more spellpower / int / crit stats when changing back to holy.
 
What world do you live in where Shadowrun is an obscure P&P RPG? Next to Mechwarrior, it's FASA's most well-known IP, which spawned video games on numerous consoles, as well as a miniature-based game by WizKids. Tobold, my friend, outside of D&D, your knowledge of P&P RPGs seems to be lacking. :P
 
The only times in Naxx25 where I have problems with mana are if I've died and been Reborn, or if Kel'Thuzad hits me more than five times with mana detonation. After that I might need a potion, or innervate.
 
What world do you live in where Shadowrun is an obscure P&P RPG?

I live in a world where FASA went bankrupt in 2001, and their spin-off FASA Interactive closed shop in 2007, because nobody actually bought those "video games on numerous consoles". I live in a world where pen & paper role-playing has become more and more niche since the advent of computer RPG games, especially MMORPGs. I live in a world where the average teenager probably can't name more than one pen & paper RPG, and that is Dungeons & Dragons. What world do you live in?
 
Well good job. Dont be mean to people who move on because you're not hardcore enough. Dont be offended because they prefer the company of more highly skilled players. You are a casual guild relative to other more hardcore guilds. I recently did the same thing, and now, what a surprise! My old guild is gradually disintegrating. Happens all the time. Sure, they'll still be seeing new bosses, but they'll remain #7656 on world progression.

I read your earlier post on the subject of these people leaving. Believe me, its one thing to be "working" on malygos. It's another thing entirely to be killing him in 5mins30secs then riding off on your black proto drake. The difference between hardcore & casuals has to do with hard modes & achievements - not new raid content. Happy casualling!
 
The difference between hardcore & casuals has to do with hard modes & achievements - not new raid content.

I never understood why somebody would be willing to run Naxxramas heroic with less than 25 players to get an achievement, but be unwilling to fill those empty slots with less skilled players and give them the loot that would otherwise be disenchanted, training them how to raid in the process.
 
The difference between hardcore and casuals is casuals are more likely to have touched a boob this decade.

-Michael
Muckbeast - Game Design and Online Worlds
http://www.muckbeast.com
 
"The difference between hardcore and casuals is casuals are more likely to have touched a boob this decade. "
This must make life extremely inconvenient for the female hardcore players.
 
I live in a world where FASA went bankrupt in 2001, and their spin-off FASA Interactive closed shop in 2007, because nobody actually bought those "video games on numerous consoles". I live in a world where pen & paper role-playing has become more and more niche since the advent of computer RPG games, especially MMORPGs. I live in a world where the average teenager probably can't name more than one pen & paper RPG, and that is Dungeons & Dragons. What world do you live in?
The world where it's still one of the most well known RPG genres in the world. Might want to take a break from WoW and visit.
 
I like my druid because of this too. I've been collecting offspec boomkin pieces ever since I switched to resto in the first place (it's not hard, not many people want to compete with me for +spellpower leather) and I often find that many of my healing pieces are also very good for DPS. Sure they don't have any +hit, and they prioritize spirit less, but there's a nice amount of haste and crit there. I find myself upgrading from one Naxx25 epic to another for my healing set, then just re-gemming my old piece for hit and using it for my DPS set.
 
I would suggest having an Ebonweave set ready for your second spec, only the gloves enchanted with precision amounts abut a 3% hit.
 
Similar findings. My Resto shammy, without switching spec or gear, can outdo my mage (with less, but still not terrible gear) in DPS in a short fight. My mage can usually outdo mages with similar gear just by better playing/rotation/etc. However lately hes been near the bottom even with undergeared people. So if the guild needs DPS not healing it is better for me to bring my resto shammy tossing lightning than it would be my mage. I know this would change a tad if i get a bit more gear for the mage, but still. A mage with 80% of the gear of a resto shammy should probably have an advantage in terms of DPS, but doesnt seem that way.
 
@Wyldkard and Jack9: Contrary to popular "nerd" culture, Shadowrun is NOT that popular. I've played with many roleplayers, and honestly, GURPS, and BESM was better known. Hell, V:M was better known. Now I'm surrounded by people who still think that D&D is a gateway to satanism.

You may think that it's hot stuff, but most of the world doesn't even know.
 
There are always possible compromises.
Compromising your stance on dual spec means when you dps you won't dps quite as well as the next guy. If that's good enough for you and your guild, fine.

Those that say the 'hardcore have no life' are just deluding themselves and being mean and sour grapey in the process. If you raid 5 nights a week to try to beat the progression curve, there are sacrfices, but to say that person has no life or to claim they don't get to copulate is silly.

I was in a top-40 US guild that raided 5 nights a week and enjoyed it. It was a bit much for my other priorities.

I joined and now GM a raiding guild that raids 2 nights a week. We have a hardcore attitude to raiding on those two nights, a compromise. If people don't flask, they don't come back. That's the way WE like it. We aren't realm first for 'progression kills' - we're not even in the top 10. BUT, we ARE in the top 10 for achievements, in fact we're #2 for heroic achievements, because with our hard core skill and focus on our two nights, we're able to do the 6-minute kills, the Sarth3Ds, the Immortals that many 5-night a week guilds struggle with despite many more attempts. I'd love to down Algalon first on my realm. Will I? No. But I'll be right on their heels, and able to do many things I enjoy that I'd otherwise skip out on raiding every night. It's all a matte of compromising to maximise your personal set of priorities, and trying to find a guild to match.

As for sex? I get just as much now (but not more) as I did raiding 5 nights. And that number is well above zero.
 
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